It’s full steam ahead for Cammie
Vaginal steaming. It's exactly what you think it is. Doctors ridiculed the practice when actress Gwyneth Paltrow promoted the benefits a couple years ago.
Cammie Caines, however, is a firm believer. When she was 19, doctors diagnosed endometriosis, a painful condition where endometrial tissue grows outside the uterus. She had surgery but was then told her reproductive organs were so scarred she would probably never have children.
For more than a decade she tried. Finally, she switched to an alkaline diet, cutting out dairy, eggs, meat, most grains and processed foods — and she started steaming.
“I felt hurt but I also felt that I would find some way to have a baby,” she said. “I think there just was this spirit in me that was saying that my womb needed different herbs to heal.
“I'd been drinking them, but I started steaming as another way to get them to my womb.”
She believes it is because of the steaming that her daughter, Kacia, was born in 2010.
“I couldn't believe it when I found out I was pregnant,” she said. “Then I was scared. But my friends told me, ‘It's too late to be scared. You've done it now.'”
In 2014, she learnt that vaginal steaming, also known as yoni steaming, was something many people did.
“I started doing it before I even knew it was a thing,” she said. “And then a woman came to Bermuda to talk about it at the [Fairmont Southampton]. When I heard what she would be talking about, I had to go.” She signed up to become a certified practitioner shortly after, taking a two-year course at the Yoni Steam Institute in Birmingham, Alabama.
“I had to go through intense training,” she said. “You have to fast and go on a holistic journey.
“I had to do group work, and also one-on-one work with the teacher.”
In November, she decided to take what she had studied to the public. Ms Caines now offers vaginal steaming sessions out of Lotus, the health co-operative on Victoria Street.
Clients sit bare-bottomed on a chair with a hole in the seat as steam from herbs in a box below waft up.
She grows some herbs in her garden and imports others she believes to be of benefit: chaste berry works for infertility; witch hazel is good for tightening the vagina.
“A lot of women come in for that reason,” she said. “Sometimes it is nice to do when you've finished a relationship. It just cleanses you of that old relationship so you can move on.”
She recommends the steaming to men to help with prostate issues and says it is also successful in curing such ailments as fibroids, tumours and infertility.
Women who are pregnant or who have their period or vaginal piercings should not steam.
“The steam helps tumours to dissolve,” she claimed. “I have heard and read plenty of testimonials from women who have had it.”
She said people could do it at home, but she knows the right portions of herbs to use and which work for different ailments.
“I am trained to bring about healing,” she said.
Sessions range from ten minutes to 45 minutes. Ms Caines has seen at least two of her clients have babies after having a vaginal steaming for infertility problems.
“Some people have seen results in one session,” she said. “I think you need at least three.
“I love it when someone tells me they have cured their infertility or fibroids. It gives me a boost of energy to show them that they can heal and resolve what is going on.”
Ms Caines charges $125 per session or $225 for a three-session package.
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